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The following was written by guest blogger Nick Baur, Founder of the South Side Investment Club.
When I’m seeking a general contractor (GC) for real estate projects, I typically begin by contacting other investors to see if they know of any good contractors that need work.
Most investors, no matter how well you know them, will not give you their ‘go-to’ guys. They don’t want you keeping them busy or getting them used to higher pay or whatever other differences there may be.
If I am keeping a general contractor busy and we have a good working relationship, I don’t want to share them either. The same goes for my realtors and the rest of my power team. This isn’t being selfish, it’s being smart.
Having said that, this works if those investors do know a GC that has done work for them but, they cannot keep busy.
Sometimes investors get stuck with too many properties on the market and hesitate to buy more, at which point their contractors will be looking for work. The investor will want to help that GC by referring them to other good investors.
Other Ways to Find Contractors
Another great way to find a good contractor that knows how investors work is to keep your eyes open, look for rehabs in progress as you drive neighborhoods.
When you see a pile or construction debris in the front yard, it’s a good sign some serious rehabbing is taking place. Ask to speak with the boss and ask if the house is an investment property. Pay attention to the quality of work, below is a list of questions that might help you decide if this is a contractor you would like to do business with.
- Is the jobsite clean and orderly?
- Is there trash all over the place or is it confined to a dumpster?
- Is there drywall compound and paint on the floor, on switches and plugs (things that should have been covered first)?
- Is the line between baseboard paint and wall paint clean and straight, how about at the ceiling?
- Are there beer cans everywhere?
- Are they smoking in the house?
- Is everybody on the job site working or are they standing around talking on cell phones or texting?
You get the idea. I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped at job sites to meet a contractor and because of some of the things I just mentioned, I will throw the contractor’s card away on the way out the door.